MDC Partners hires Clark to find US PR firms to buy

GREENWICH, CT: Industry veteran Harry Clark has joined Toronto-based MDC Partners as a senior adviser to find PR agencies to buy in the US as the firm expands beyond advertising and marketing.

GREENWICH, CT: Industry veteran Harry Clark has joined Toronto-based MDC Partners as a senior adviser to find PR agencies to buy in the US as the firm expands beyond advertising and marketing.

Clark is looking for agencies with expertise in consumer PR, sports marketing, healthcare, public affairs, and lobbying.

He expects to go after firms with annual revenues of $5 million to $25 million. He's looking first at major markets, such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC.

While MDC also wants to expand into Europe and Asia, "the real focus in the near-term is going to be the US market," Clark said.

Clark said he's searching for firms with a "distinctive personality or expertise." He wants to position MDC's PR capabilities as a "contrarian alternative" to such holding companies as Publicis and Omnicom.

Clark doesn't have a timetable for making acquisitions.

"We'll be patient," he said.

"If we don't see what we want, we'll wait." But he expects to announce a first deal in the next four to six months.

Clark sold his agency, Clark & Weinstock, to Omnicom in 1996.

MDC owns a variety of ad agencies in the US, such as Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, and New York-based marketing and PR firm Bratskeir & Company. It also has some ad agencies with PR operations, such as Colle & McVoy in Minneapolis.

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